HC: PUBLIC HOLIDAY NOT A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT

INTRODUCTION: -

Fundamental right is one of the most important parts of the constitution of India. It is given under part 3 of Indian constitution from Article 12- 35. Fundamental rights of India is adopted from different nations, such as united stated. These rights are enshrined in the constitution to give civil rights to all the citizen of India who all can protect themselves from government and society. This Part III of Indian constitution is also known as magna carta. A

person can move to the supreme court and high court of any state if any of their fundamental rights get violated. It contains broadly seven rights such as-

Right to Equality- Article 14 - 18

Right to Freedom- Article 19 - 22

Right against exploitation- Article 23-24

Right to Freedom of Religion- Article 25 – 28

Educational and cultural Rights- Article 29 & 30

Right to Constitutional Remedies- Article 32


FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS ARE NOT ABSOLUTE

In Behram Singh v State of Bombay, it was held that they are provided not only for benefit of the citizens but on the grounds of public policy as well.

A thirteen-judge bench in Keshwananada Bharti v State of Kerala, overturning the landmark judgment of Golak Nath, I.C. v State of Punjab, held that any part of the constitution can be amended, abrogated or abridged without changing the basic foundational values and structure of the constitution. However, a definitive list of what constituted the basic structure was not declared.


IS PUBLIC HOLIDAY A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT?

India is a democratic country of 1.3 billion with multi- linguistic and cultural diversity There are seventeen public holidays in India every year based on significant religious and cultural dates. Employees of central and state government gets paid on these holidays and there are some states which pays on alternative holidays. Holidays are important for the promotion of nationhood and common community. It increases happiness among family as they get time to spend with family. It gives time to explore more places so that people can become stress free.


CASE LAWS: - Kishnabhai Nathubai ghutia & anr. V. The Hon’ble Administrator Union Territory & ors.

Bombay high court held that declaration of a public holiday is a matter of government policy. Public holiday is not a fundamental right, the Bombay high court said. So, nobody has right to approach court for the violation of fundamental rights under article 32 or article 226 for public holidays. It is only government who can decide regarding public holiday, judiciary, executive, media or individual have no rights to decide as it is a matter of public policy.

Bombay high court dismissed a petition to declare august 2 as a public holiday to commemorate the independence of union territory of Dadra & Nagar Havelli. Earlier 2nd august was declared as holiday from year 1954 to 2020 to commemorate the independence of Dadra & Nagar Havelli which got freedom from Portuguese occupation later. This public holiday is cancelled on 29th July 2021, after this petition for violation of fundamental right was filed. The court held that it is not a fundamental right and judiciary has no right to interfere in it, only government has right to decide.

A Bench of Justices Gautam Patel and Madhav Jamadar also observed that India has far too many public holidays and that efforts should be made to reduce rather than increase their number.


CONCLUSION: -

We do have fundamental right enshrined under part 3 of Indian constitution and we are also provided with the rights to approach high court and supreme court if it gets violated. But these fundamental rights are not absolute. These rights are given with terms and conditions. Only parliament have rights to make or amend laws, judiciary has no rights to interfere in government’s decision.


“Constitution is not a mere lawyers document; it is a vehicle of life and its spirit is always the spirit of age”.

-B.R AMBEDKAR



This article is written by Priya Kumari of BMS COLLEGE OF LAW.

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